The program is originally spoken in Korean, and can be watched dubbed or with English subtitles.
The drama is about an alternative world where people in debt compete in deadly games.
TikTok user youngmimayer said in her three minute dissection of the subtitles; ”If you don’t understand Korean you didn’t really watch the same show. The dialogue was written so well and zero of it was preserved.”
She also did a Twitter thread, going into more detail:
not to sound snobby but i’m fluent in korean and i watched squid game with english subtitles and if you don’t understand korean you didn’t really watch the same show. translation was so bad. the dialogue was written so well and zero of it was preserved
— youngmi mayer (@ymmayer) September 30, 2021
Another Twitter user agreed, saying the dubbed version was “worse.“
Someone said it!!! Thank you!!! I also watched it in Korean and as a multi-lingual speaker with translation and subtitling experience I just noticed a lot of messy areas and it was so basic. I also (just to see what it was like) started to watched the dubbed version- it was worse
— Yasmin ❤️ ♔ (@YasminLG18) October 1, 2021
It has since been noted that youngmimayer was watching the show with English CC which were designed to match the dubbed English, not to translate the Korean.
The subtitles do differ depending on if you watch English or English CC subtitles.
Youngmimayer has since clarified that the English language subtitles are “substantially better” than the closed-caption ones.
She did reiterate that “The misses in the metaphors – and what the writers were trying to actually say – are still pretty present.”
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